Dow Jones Industrial Average Signals Slow Start on Rate-Hike Fears

Traders worry Friday's strong jobs numbers will prompt a raise in rates

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 9, 2015 at 8:32 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) is signaling a cautiously optimistic start to the week, as fears of an impending Fed rate hike continue to weigh on investor sentiment following Friday's payrolls report. While things will be relatively quiet on the economic and earnings fronts, future Dow component Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be in focus, as the company holds its Apple Watch launch event this afternoon. Overseas, the European Central Bank (ECB) kicks off its bond-buying program today, while a number of eurozone finance ministers will gather to discuss Greece's economic reform strategy.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are roughly 18 points above fair value.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,116,602 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 743,627 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.67, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.62.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is down 0.2% at 97.46.
  • Crude oil is 0.4% higher at $49.79 per barrel.
  • Gold is also higher, gaining 0.8% at $1,174.10 per ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

To kick off the week, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester will speak in Washington, D.C. Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU), United Natural Foods (UNFI), and Urban Outfitters (URBN) will present earnings.To see what else is coming up on this week's agenda, click here.

Overseas Trading

Asian stocks were mostly lower on growing fears of a U.S. interest-rate hike. Japan's Nikkei fell 1%, with a worse-than-expected final fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) reading weighing on equities. In South Korea, the Kospi also shed 1%, after closing Friday at a five-month peak. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave back 0.2%. China's Shanghai Composite was able to break into positive territory, adding 1.9%, thanks to strong gains in banking names.

European investors are also concerned about U.S. rate hikes, as markets are lower at midday. Traders are also keeping a cautious eye trained on Switzerland, as reports circulate the central bank could be considering another interest-rate reduction. Meanwhile, the ECB kicked off its massive bond-buying program today. At last check, the French CAC 40 and London's FTSE 100 were both off 0.7%, with the German DAX 0.1% lower.

Overseas markets

Unusual Put and Call Activity:

For an explanation of how to use this information, check out our Education Center topics on Option Volume and Open Interest Configurations.

Unusual options activity - puts

Unusual options activity - calls

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